Paris: A Lunch With A View


CIMG5064

For a first-timer in Paris, the Sister had not done badly.

Sure, we hadn’t managed to get into L’Ami Jean or Hidden Kitchen, but the basics had been covered: Berthillon ice-cream, Laduree macarons, cervelas at Brasserie Lipp, a cocktail at the Hemingway Bar.

What was left on the list? Much too much.

Nonetheless, we decided, end with a bang we must. And so we found ourselves packing into a tiny elevator and rocketing into the gray Parisian sky.

The lunch to end our lunches (for now) in Paris would be at a classic — Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower, which, at more than 400 feet above ground level, offered a sweet spot to sip some bubbly and look out onto the city beneath.

[Read more…]

Paris: Putting The "Ohh" in Aligot


CIMG5037

Like many good New Yorkers, I had come to regard carbs as the enemy.

I’d accepted that Asian noodles were my Delilah. But with a few exceptions — any dish of steak frites that crossed my sight being the main one — I’d been able to stick to this waistline-watching strategy. I would push around (most of my) potatoes on the plate and leave bread (mostly) untouched. 

Paris, however, has ruined me.

There were the perfectly baked breads that just demanded to be devoured. The delightfully salty butters that called to you from the table, insisting on being slathered on said perfectly baked breads and then devoured.

And there was the aligot at L’Ambassade D’Auvergne, a lovely little restaurant that specializes in the super elastic dish of melted Laguiole cheese stirred together with mashed potatoes and garlic.

My breaking point came when I set eyes on the aligot.

Fighting it was futile. I admitted defeat and said, “Just take me.”

[Read more…]

Shhh … People Are Eating


CIMG5380

Not that I was looking, but I may have found a restaurant that’s even quieter than Chanterelle, a place in New York that was so hushed when I dined there a few years ago that you could probably have heard a toothpick drop.

We’re not quiet folk, my sister and I. So we knew we were in for it when we stepped into L’Ambroisie in Quimper, France, and the place was so silent that you could almost hear the soft shufflings of proprietor Armelle Guyon as she glided from table to table taking orders.

There’s been quite a bit written recently about how noisy U.S. restaurants have gotten — like crowded train stations filled with shouts and clangs, really. However, when it comes to dinner, my quibble tends to be with places that are on the other end of the sound spectrum.

After all, who wants to feel like they’re eating in a stalled elevator sans muzak?

[Read more…]